Tag Archives: Phoenix Zoo – Phoenix

Bali Mynah

Bali Mynah_2

Bali mynah with doctor repellent*

* This is actually ineffective. Doctors are not actually scared of apples**

** Or birds***

*** Well, living birds**** anyway. Some are probably scared of dinosaurs*****, which are a form****** of birds

**** Except cassowaries. I’d imagine many reasonable doctor would be scared of cassowaries*******

***** Okay, the big scary dinosaurs anyway. Micropachycephalosaurus wasn’t very scary at all

****** Technically, birds are a form of dinosaur, but I think you get the point

******* And macaws********

******** ICD 10 W61.12

Giant Anteater

Giant Anteater_2

He remembers that fateful day, when the man came riding in, so strong, so powerful. Never before and never since had the small farm town seen his like. On the surface, he had seemed so trustworthy, so interesting, with that odd, almost dangerous smile. Everyone had fallen under his spell, lost in his eyes. He’d stayed no more than a week, but changed the town forever. After his visit, half the people left, wandering the woodland in pain and longing, leaving their homes, their crops, and their family. The few who remained in town could do nothing but sit, mourning that which they had never before known could have been theirs. All town life ceased, stores closed, school was canceled, there were no more festivals, no parties, no weddings.

The man had brought nothing with him, but when he left he seemed to take their very hearts and souls with him, leaving in his wake nothing but questions …

From whence didst thou hail?
To which distant locale did thou journey?
O Soft-eyed Joesph.

Porpoise in Lights


Every winter, the Phoenix Zoo does a “ZooLights” event, where people come after dark to admire the lights. This is, traditionally, something that is difficult to photograph, but my new camera does better in low light and I happened to have a “sparkle” filter in my bag, so I figured I’d see how it worked.

I like it.

Huachuca water umbel


The Huachuca water umbel is a plant that looks like grass, but isn’t grass. It’s a water plant that needs flooding to propagate and survive. It’s an Arizona native … where flooding is pretty rare now that humans consume the water as fast as they can get it.

Of particular interest is the approximately seven meter run that you see here. This is the largest habitat for this plant in the world.

That’s right, the largest, healthiest stretch of this plant is at the Phoenix Zoo, in a non-public area.

Zoos don’t save only the animal species.

Mount Graham Red Squirrel

Mount Graham Red Squirrel_9

When I went to the Phoenix Zoo, I was fortunate enough to be allowed special access to see some of the species they are trying to breed, but that are so critically endangered that they cannot be visible to the public. That short list included the Mount Graham red squirrel – a species that is so easily stressed that I had less than five minutes to shoot and couldn’t use flash or tripod. Ideal conditions for squirrel breeding is not photography-friendly.

This squirrel was thought to have gone extinct in the 1950s. The population had been slowly rising since it’s rediscovery in the 1970’s … until the fires.

2017 saw 79 fires on Mount Graham, burning over 125,000 acres, including a significant portion of the squirrel’s habitat. The October census found only 35 squirrels alive in the wild.

When I took this photo, the zoo had four squirrels (that I saw). This means that over ten percent of the global population lives in one tiny room … and that this little guy is 2.9% of the entire species.